Denver Sets Timeline for Mega Project


Denver city officials have established a timeline for the National Western Center project, with construction slated to begin early next year and phases one and two completed sooner than originally planned.

The initial contract up for bid, worth $250 million or more, according to the Denver Post, is the largest of several, and deals mostly with site-clearing and road-building work.

Western Center Project

Plans for the National Western Center project focus around providing a space for the National Western Stock Show, while also accommodating amenities to make the location a year-round attraction for tourism, education and events. 

The 250-acre complex will feature new livestock and equestrian centers and stockyards, as well as an equine sports medicine facility and an onsite water resource center built in partnership with Colorado State University.

The project will also call for a number of infrastructure changes, such as the construction of new bridges across the South Platte River and onsite rail line realignment.

Project Development Timeline

Five years of preparation have gone into the project so far, and representatives from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s office have unveiled a baseline schedule that would see the first two phases of the project completed by 2024, instead of the original 10-year timeline.

“By shortening our timeline for construction, we can reduce our projected costs,” NWC executive director Gretchen Hollrah said in an interview.

The cost of the project decreased from $1.1 billion to $1 billion, according to reports, thanks to site plan changes that had lowered the city-directed portion of the project from $856 million to $765 million. Colorado State University also received $200 million for its equine sports medicine facility and  onsite water resource center contribution to the project.

Contract Bidding

According to the Denver Post, Hollrah’s office plans to release a solicitation for potential bidders for the largest contract at the end of December. The formal bid request will follow early next year.

The contract, known as the Horizontal Portfolio Integrated Construction Contract, covers clean-up of the South Platte Riverfront, sitewide infrastructure and utility work and investigation into and treatment of contaminated soil, along with other work. This work needs to be completed before the city can move forward with the major vertical components, new livestock and equestrian centers, noted Hollrah. That work may not begin until 2021.


Tagged categories: Agriculture; Business matters; Construction; Good Technical Practice; North America; Project Management

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